2 more arrests made in deadly shooting of man trying to stop robbery in Spring Branch, HPD says

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Friday, April 28, 2023
2 more arrests made in death of man trying to stop robbery, HPD says
Now, four men are facing capital murder charges in the death of 43-year-old Joel Villarreal. The suspects' ages range from 17 to 20.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two more arrests have been made in the death of a man who was shot while reportedly trying to stop a group of robbers in the Spring Branch area.

Arnez Markel Semien, 19, and Jonathan Lopez, 17, were arrested on Thursday and charged with capital murder, according to Houston police.

They join Daniel Medrano, 20, and Andres Lara, 19 -- who were both arrested on the same charges earlier this month.

READ MORE: 2 suspects charged with capital murder in death of man attempting to thwart robbers in Spring Branch

Daniel Medrano, 20, and Andres Lara, 19, were identified as the suspects who got into a shootout with 43-year-old Joeal Villarreal attempting to stop a robbery.

On March 28, police found 43-year-old Joel Villarreal unresponsive with a gunshot wound outside Lighthouse Smoke and Vape shop at 7550 Long Point Road.

Villarreal was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Man shot and killed in Spring Branch was trying to stop smoke shop robbers, HPD says

Police said two or three suspects had just robbed the smoke shop and were fleeing when a bystander tried to stop them, sparking a shootout.

A preliminary investigation determined that an armed robbery had just occurred. Villarreal was trying to stop the suspects from fleeing, sparking a shootout between them, police said.

"A bystander tried to intervene. They got into a shootout," Det. Chettry with HPD said. "The bystander was wounded and transported to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries."

Further investigation revealed a person of interest wanted for questioning. HPD released a photo of Lara on April 3.

RELATED: Man sought by police after 43-year-old shot and killed while trying to stop robbers in Spring Branch

Three days later, a subsequent investigation identified Lara and Medrano as the suspects, and they were both arrested and charged for their roles on April 6.

Then, even further investigation also identified Semien and Lopez as suspects. They were arrested and charged on April 27.

It was discovered that one of the suspects, Medrano, was already out on bond for a capital murder charge stemming from 2022.

In a previous report, Medrano was one of three suspects accused of fatally shooting another man, identified as 20-year-old Jordan Capuchino, in the 6600 block of Maybank Drive after an armed robbery at a nightclub on September 17, 2022.

SEE ALSO: Family desperate for answers after loved one killed while trying to stop robbery on Long Point Road

Joel Villarreal's family continues to search for answers after he was killed while trying to stop a robbery on Long Point Road in Spring Branch.